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Contact: Kim Houf, 573-323-4941
VAN BUREN, MO: In order to improve the overall health of the Big Spring deer herd, managed deer hunts will be conducted in October and November 2015 at Big Spring, within Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Hunting opportunities are being extended to two special groups - military service members with related injuries and youth hunters.
The youth hunt will be held October 10-11 and will be open to ten selected individuals. Anyone interested in applying for this hunt must apply through the Missouri Department of Conservation at http://mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/deer-hunting/2015-2016-managed-hunts. Selected youth can harvest 2 antlerless deer with a center-fire rifle. The deadline for applications is July 31.
The Wounded Warrior Mobility Impaired hunt will be held November 7-8.This hunt is open to all current or honorably discharged military members with permanent mobility impairments. The physical condition must severely impair movement, such that assistance of a wheelchair, braces, crutches, or similar mobility aids may be required. Ten hunters will be randomly selected to participate in the hunt.Center-fire rifles will be the only weapons allowed and must be in accordance with Missouri hunting regulations.Each hunter may take two deer, including one antlered deer, during the hunt.Hunters are asked to provide their own personal assistant, or one will be provided.Wounded Warrior hunt applications and information may be downloaded at: https://www.nps.gov/ozar/planyourvisit/special-events.htm. Applications must include a letter from a physician verifying the applicant's physical condition and be received by close of business, Thursday, October 15.For more information, please contact Kim Houf at (573)323-4941 or Kimberly_houf@nps.gov.
The Big Spring area has generally been a "no hunting" zone since the days when it was a wildlife refuge within Big Spring State Park.In 2011, park resource management staff implemented a study within the Big Spring area to estimate deer abundance and establish baseline information for population management. Results of this study confirmed the deer population density has grown to a level that could have negative impacts on park resources and the health of the deer.
According to Superintendent Larry Johnson, "We are pleased to offer these recreational opportunities to help address the deer population issue in the Big Spring area.Last year's managed hunts were a huge success.We are particularly excited to once again offer a Wounded Warrior hunt, in order to honor those individuals who have sacrificed so greatly for our freedom."
Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people. For more information, visit the park's Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/ozar, or phone (573) 323-4236.